Edinburgh's Filmhouse unveils plans for a new landmark film and screen hub

Edinburgh's Filmhouse unveils plans for a new landmark film and screen hub

credit: Richard Murphy Architects

The proposed development on Festival Square to feature state-of-the-art tech, new facilities and bolster support for the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Filmhouse have announced bold plans for a new building on Festival Square, with the aim of significantly improving upon their current home's facilities and fostering the city's film and screen culture. Designed by Edinburgh-based firm Richard Murphy Architects, the planned building will add an additional six screens to Filmhouse's roster and feature state-of-the-art technology, allowing Filmhouse to continue screening films on all formats, and house the cinema's award-winning Café Bar. The landmark structure has promised to be fully accessible to all and carbon neutral, and will also boast dedicated education centres, a restaurant and rooftop event space.

The new building will also have significant benefits to the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the 20 other film festivals which have their base at Filmhouse. The additional screens will not only allow for larger, more vibrant programming, but a brand new Festival Centre will provide year-round support to these festivals and cinema events. Moreover, a Cultural Industries Hub will provide a flexible workspace to encourage projects and talent in the Scottish screen sector.

The current oculus design reflects the 'eye of the world' on Edinburgh, brought upon by its vibrant cultural scene and dynamic year-round festival roster. The design, however, is still under development, with three public consultation events (Sun 29 Mar, Wed 1 Apr and Tue 28 Apr) to be run by Filmhouse, Richard Murphy Architects and property consultants Montagu Evans. These consultations will take place from 10am to 7pm, and will be open to anyone wishing to learn more about the project or to deliver feedback. There will also be two Filmhouse Members' Events on Sun 29 Mar and Mon 6 Apr.

Edinburgh's Filmhouse unveils plans for a new landmark film and screen hub

credit: Richard Murphy Architects

Information about the proposed development will be available on the Filmhouse website. The total cost of the project is estimated to be £50 million, with a provisional completion date of 2025.

Ken Hay, CEO of Centre for the Moving Image (which includes Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival) says of the new building: 'For more than 40 years, Filmhouse has been at the centre of Edinburgh's cultural life, and for more than 70 years Edinburgh International Film Festival has been an international beacon for film and film culture.'

'This proposed new building will transform what we're able to do for Edinburgh's residents and Scotland's film community, as well as providing Scotland with a physical celebration of the most popular artform. Through doubling the number of screens and seats for regular cinema-goers, creating dedicated education and learning spaces, and developing an iconic festival centre, all within a fully accessible and carbon neutral building, this really is a 21st century temple for film.

'We are hugely excited about sharing this vision during the consultation period, and are looking forward to engaging with as many people as we can in helping us shape the future for Filmhouse and lovers of film.'

The consultation stage for the new Filmhouse building runs from 11 Mar–3 Jun. More information is available at filmhousecinema.com.

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